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Test Taking Tips

  • Oncology questions can be quick points on the ABSITE, especially in the basic science portion of the exam.

  • Carcinoids and GISTs are still hot topics.


In what phase of mitosis does the nucleus disappear?

  • Prophase


The cell cycle. The ability to microscopically recognize cells during both mitosis and DNA replication (by autoradiography after administering radiolabeled thymidine) led to the concept of the cell “cycle.” In this concept, new interphase cells undergo a period after leaving mitosis and before starting DNA synthesis called the first gap, or G1. Another gap, G2, occurs after DNA replication and before the next mitotic prophase. After mitosis, both new cells repeat this cycle. In rapidly dividing cells, G1 is a period in which cells accumulate the enzymes and nucleotides required for DNA replication, S is the period devoted primarily to DNA replication, G2 is a usually short period of preparation for mitosis, and M includes all phases of mitosis itself. In rapidly growing human tissues, the cell cycle varies from 24 to 36 hours. The length of G1 depends on many factors and is usually the longest and most variable period; the length of S is largely a function of the genome size. G2 and mitosis together normally last only 2 to 3 hours. (Reproduced with permission from Mescher AL. Junqueira’s Basic Histology: Text and Atlas, 15th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2018.)

In what phase of mitosis does chromosome alignment occur?

  • Metaphase

In what phase of mitosis do chromosomes separate?

  • Anaphase

In what phase of mitosis do nuclei form around replicated DNA?

  • Telophase

Name the purines:

  • Guanine, adenine

Name the pyrimidines:

  • Cytosine, thymidine, uracil

What is translation as it refers to the cell cycle?

  • Protein synthesis using an mRNA template by ribosomes

What is transcription as it refers to the cell cycle?

  • Synthesis of mRNA from DNA template by RNA polymerase

In what phase of the cell cycle do protein synthesis and chromosomal duplication occur?

  • S phase

In what phase of the cell cycle does mitosis occur?

  • M phase


What tumor marker is associated with choriocarcinoma/testicular cancer?

  • β-Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)

What tumor marker is associated with colon cancer?

  • Carcinoembryonic antigen

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